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SSA = Special Service Area. It's generally for the cost of developing an area that is without sufficient services for the new development (schools, roads, fire department, etc.). The developer finances it and passes the note onto the new homeowners; it's usually amortized over 30 years.
In my opinion, SSA is a bad idea because of all the extra costs it adds on, like a tax (sometimes it's added directly into the property taxes). This is a cost that the developer should have taken on or incorporated into the cost of the lot, but instead decided to be sly and make the homeowner pay it. Home values in SSAs have suffered particularly during this housing downturn.... more